Archive for January, 2011
They established a home-based business called Leemar Enterprises, specializing in products to help Eastern Europeans carry out their cultural traditions. The company grew out of an item Michael designed for a priest: a mold for creating that Easter meal staple, the butter lamb.
The priest told Michael that his church cooks were wasting too much butter carving the lambs. Michaels solution: a plastic mold where the butter could be frozen into a lambs shape.
We asked the priest if he would mind if we advertised the mold and he said that was fine, Leona said in an interview some years ago with The Cleveland Plain Dealer. So we placed ads in a few ethnic newspapers and we sold 5,000 molds!
Michael began designing more products, including a mold for shaping pirogi. But no item was more popular than his Egg-in-Wrap, a faster way to create pysanky, the elaborately decorated Easter eggs traditionally crafted using the painstaking wax-resist method.
With Egg-in-Wrap, a patterned plastic shrink wrap is slipped over the egg. Plunging the egg in boiling water shrink-wraps the design in place.
Leona told another interviewer that her husband came up with the idea as an alternative for people who cannot do eggs.
Im telling you, my dad was an amazing thinker he wasnt afraid to try things, said the Hrehovciks daughter, Mary Ellen OHaire.
On the strength of Michaels design skills and Leonas business smarts and catalog-writing acumen, Leemar Enterprises blossomed into a full-fledged mail-order company. Michael and Leona worked side by side in Little Falls and promoted their wares at ethnic festivals in cities with large Eastern European populations, such as Cleveland.
Today, Leemar Enterprises is run by Jessica Hrehovcik, 27, one of the couples 11 grandchildren.
My grandparents taught us who we were and where we came from, and thats a really important thing now, said Jessica, who grew up around the business with her siblings and cousins.
And they led by example. My grandparents made sure we were all together for dinners on Christmas Eve and Easter, and theyd even pull out the fancy china.
Jessica said her grandmother was the grounding force for her grandfather: She organized him and believed in him. The level of respect they had for each other was amazing to me.
Leona Hrehovcik battled a blood disease in her final years and was cared for by Michael. She died at the beginning of Holy Week last year, at 74.
Nine months was too long for them be apart, Mary Ellen said. So he joined her.
Michael Hrehovcik died last Sunday, at 76. The cause, his daughter said, was a broken heart.
A signature supporter of the Connecticut football program is demanding the return of $3 million and the removal of his name from the teams training facility, the Day of New London (Conn.) reports.
Robert G. Burton, who donated the lead gift for construction of the Burton Family Football Complex, said he is upset with athletic director Jeff Hathaways leadership and that Burton wasnt consulted in the recent coaching search. UConn hired Paul Pasqualoni after Randy Edsall left for Maryland.
The primary reason [former coach] Randy [Edsall] took another job is because he couldnt work with you, Burton wrote in a letter to Hathaway dated Jan. 19, the paper reports. You are not qualified to be a Division I AD and I would have fired you a long time ago. You do not have the skills to manage and cultivate new donors.
He also wrote that the Huskies could take his name off the building after it cut him his refund check.
Burton, who had a son play for Pasqualoni at Syracuse, said he did not support the hiring of Pasqualoni and was never consulted by Hathaway during the process. He was involved in the process that led to Edsalls hiring under former AD Lew Perkins.
UConn officials released a statement to the paper that said the school did consult with Burton and that it made a hire in the best interests of the university.
Does this sound a little bit like a rich guy getting mad because he didnt have his ego stroked? A little, sure. But The Day reports that Burton has given more than $7 million to the football program over the years, and he might be the programs biggest financial supporter. UConn cant afford to lose that as it tries to continue its rise. Hathaway and the school need to find a way to patch things up with Burton.
In this preview of Thursdays Piers Morgan Tonight, featuring Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, the subject of money gives way to a conversation about giving.
When Piers Morgan asks how much Kim is worth, she says, Whatever it is, I give 10% away to the church and thats what I was taught. Every year, absolutely.
But does Kourtney?
Im going to now, Kourtney said. I was taught that too but I forgot about it.
Kim said she has given millions of her money to the Dream Foundation, as well as tithing to a church her mother created in Calabasas, CA.
The full interview airs Thursday night on CNN at 9pmET/PT.
Since the impact of the Oscar nominations announced this morning is at least as much financial as artistic, here at Forbes we thought it would be interesting to take a look at the financials of the organization overseeing the whole process. It can be reported with confidence that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is really rolling in the dough.
According to its latest available tax return, for 2009, the academy had no debt and net assets of $165 million, mostly in investments. For that year, on $81 million in total revenue, there was a surplus of $36 million. Some $24 million of that went to support a film archives and a museum.
The academy owed no federal income tax on the booty because it is a tax-exempt business league, set up, the tax return says to advance the arts and sciences of motion pictures and foster education activities between the motion picture community and the public-at-large.
Thats technical talk for marketing.
As you might expect, almost all the revenue$74 millioncame in respect of the Academy Awards. The return didnt break out exactly how much of that came from Walt Disney Co. for the broadcasting rights over ABC, but it had to be the largest chunk. Annual dues from membersyes, people who vote on the Oscars have to pay for the privilegewas a paltry $1.5 million. Most of the rest was money tossed off by a $100 million investment portfolio.
By all indications the Oscar broadcast itself is wildly profitably to the Academy. The return identified just $22 million in costs directly attributable to the ceremony, including $1.7 million for the Governors Ball following the program.
What do the top people get paid? By Hollywood standards, surprisingly modest amounts. The 40-some board members serve for free. The top day-to-day person, Executive Secretary Bruce Davis, received a total of $530,000, followed by $361,00 for Executive Administrator Ric Robertson and $244,000 for Controller Andrew Horn. No one else was listed as making more than $200,000.
Compared to the academy, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which runs the Golden Globes awards, are positive pikers. According to its 2009 tax-return, total revenuelike the Oscars, overwhelmingly from its NBC-Universal televised showwas a mere $6.6 million. But the organization still managed to clear $3.3 million. That may be because the highest-paid person, President Jorge I. Camara, only received $73,000. Forbes once called the Golden Globes glamour on the cheap.
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Gov. John Kitzhaber said Monday he will be forced to recommend significant cuts in Oregon Health Plan benefits and payments to doctors who provide services to those patients, despite concerns about unintended consequences.
Kitzhaber is worried about reducing payments so much that it becomes unprofitable for doctors to treat patients on the Oregon Health Plan, he told newspaper editors in a meeting organized by The Associated Press.
Kicking patients off the health plan wouldnt save money in the long run because those patients would end up in the emergency room, he said.
But lawmakers cant rely on the federal stimulus dollars and other one-time injections of cash that propped up the last budget. That money went mostly to education and health care funding, so those areas will see significant cuts in Kitzhabers budget recommendations due Feb. 1.
Kitzhaber eventually hopes to save money on health care costs by creating incentives for preventing costly treatments and by treating chronic conditions outside of hospitals. But it will take time to develop those policies, so steep cuts will be needed first.
The governor will propose $2.3 billion in spending for the Oregon Health Plan and long-term care, his office said later Monday. Thats a net decrease of roughly $470 million from the last two-year budget cycle.
Kitzhaber also said he wants to get away from funding education based on the number of students enrolled and start paying schools based on the success of their students.
The current funding model is a very inefficient system thats not aligned with what I think we want in a 21st century education system, Kitzhaber said.
The governor will propose higher spending on K-12 education in the first year of the budget cycle than in the second, giving school officials a year to find savings before absorbing deeper cuts. Kitzhaber has called on school districts to look at saving money by consolidating and finding cheaper ways to transport students.
In separate remarks, legislative leaders told editors that, aside from the budget, they expect to be looking at job creation strategies, cuts to public employee compensation and Oregons unique kicker tax credit.
Senate Republicans last week proposed a moratorium on administrative rule-making, saying businesses would be more likely to create jobs if they didnt have to worry about new government regulations.
Kitzhaber and Democratic lawmakers said some regulations should be streamlined but the GOP proposal would stymie important government work.
Its just a classic example of a good core principle, but they rolled it out to its illogical conclusion, House Democratic leader Dave Hunt said.
Republicans also said they want to tweak new business taxes approved by voters last year as Measure 67. GOP lawmakers say the measure discourages business investment in Oregon.
Theyll be helped by a much louder voice in the Legislature. Republicans picked up seats in both chambers and tied Democrats in the House. Last year they were significantly outnumbered.
Were a lot more relevant, said Sen. Bruce Starr of Hillsboro, the deputy Republican leader. They need us more than just to create a quorum.
Like Bob Lutz, when Chrysler’s CEO Sergio Marchionne appears to speak, a crowd appears and people listen. This time he appeared with the EPA in Ann Arbor to announce a cooperative arrangement to adapt hydraulic hybrid technology for mini-vans.
Today, they are a successful home-based business, garnering a food contract with AO Smith in Ashland City, serving about 300 people a day. They credit much of their success to The Gathering, a program for home-based businesses sponsored by the Extension Service.
We started out as mother and daughter homemakers, Chandler said about herself and her mother, and now we have the AO Smith food contract. That has catapulted us.
Had we not been able to take small bites along the way … its changed our lives.
The Gathering, at its core, is a networking opportunity for home-based businesses in an eight-county area ? six in Tennessee and two in Kentucky. The program sponsors workshops, training opportunities and networking opportunities.
The program this week received the 2011 Outstanding Local Program Awards from the Tennessee Rural Development Committee.
Program coordinator Martha Pile said the programs success is a collaborative effort of several agencies and member businesses. The goal, she said, is to help build successful businesses.
In starting up a business, you do a lot of dreaming. I can teach you to do that without it costing a penny, Pile said. If you have a passion and we can help you turn that into a living, I will.
Linda Hays, owner of Evawood Bakery in Dover is one of those people who has had her dream turn into a living. A former registered nurse, she now bakes fresh bread and desserts. She described the friendships she has formed and the networking opportunities have been priceless.
Im doing what I love. I play in dough all day. Im not rich but Im happy, she said at a Gathering event last week while handing out samples of cinnamon rolls and bread. And I have friends who feed my addiction.
Feleesha Johnson with the Tennessee Small Business Development Center said programs like The Gathering help small businesses because it reminds home-based business owners that they are not alone and helps educate small business owners of various programs at their disposal.
Chandler and Presson have been able to use the commercial kitchen provided by the UT Extension Service in Montgomery County has helped them grow their business to meet their AO Smith contract obligations. Pile cited Old Fashioned Fried Pies as an example of the many success stories of The Gathering.
As expected, FairPoint Communications (Other OTC: FRCMQ.PK) has finally completed its restructuring process and emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Through this restructuring process, FairPoint cut its outstanding debt by about 64 percent, down from the $2.8 billion to about $1 billion. The service provider also now has a $75 million revolving credit facility for working capital and general corporate purposes.
Despite concerns over reaching its broadband roll out goals in New England, FairPoint said that it had made progress in expanding the availability of broadband service and has completed its VantagePoint core network build in northern New England.
Part of FairPoints restructuring also included the appointment of a new Board of Directors. FairPoints new board includes Edward D. Horowitz (chairman), Todd Arden, Dennis J. Austin, Michael J. Mahoney, Michael K. Robinson, FairPoints new CEO Paul Sunu, David Treadwell and Wayne Wilson.
During a hearing on Jan. 13, the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York confirmed the service providers reorganization plan. Likewise, the Public Utilities Commissions in all required states in which FairPoint provides services also approved the restructuring package.
The story of FairPoints bankruptcy, which came after the company struggled to integrate Verizons former New England phone lines, is not an isolated incident. Fellow telco Hawaiian Telcom, which also bought out Verizons lines in Hawaii, also was driven to Chapter 11 restructuring but reemerged in October last year.
While it will take time to see how successful both FairPoint and Hawaiian Telcom will be in life after restructuring, the two companies experiences should serve as a cautionary tale for any telco conducting a large scale acquisition of another major carriers network infrastructure.
- see the release
FairPoint realigns restructuring plan, hearing scheduled for Jan. 13
FairPoints Chapter 11 plan gets support from creditors, lenders
Judge approves FairPoints reorganization plan
FairPoint wants extension for broadband expansion
FairPoint buys more time for reorganization
FairPoint will have to restate 2009 revenue
FairPoint files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
Advocates believe e-cigarettes provide a stepping-stone to quitting, but opponents say their health impact is unknown. Now New York is considering a state-wide ban…
Hundreds of thousands of smokers who try to quit the habit fail every year despite trying exercise, nicotine patches and good old-fashioned will-power.
Now electronic cigarettes are being touted as the latest stop smoking device. These battery-powered sticks are filled with a nicotine or non-nicotine solution that is heated and inhaled as a vapour.
Most are refillable devices with solutions offered in different nicotine concentrations and in hundreds of different flavours.
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Submit Questions to AOL Health Prior to Health Reform Discussion at White House
Have questions about health reform? Submit them now to US News content provider AOL, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius may answer. This Thursday, two days after President Obamas State of the Union address, Sebelius will host a roundtable discussion on healthcare at the White House, and AOL will stream the conference live on AOLHealth.com and AOL.com from 4:30 to 5:15 pm EST. AOL Health Vice President Marjorie Martin will pose reader-submitted questions to Sebelius. Obama will likely tout health-care reform as one of his administrations major accomplishments during Tuesdays address. The Affordable Care Act, signed into law in March, requires every American to have health insurance by 2014. Democrats back the law, arguing that it puts all Americans on equal footing when it comes to healthcare. But Republicans are angling to repeal it, saying the law is too costly and could eliminate jobs or force companies out of business.
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